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A Calculated Risk at Lanvin

There were some ideas to appreciate at the Lanvin show, particularly Lucas Ossendrijver's more technical outerwear, but it was hard to see how the rest of the collection could deliver the energetic momentum that he was looking for.
Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2017 | Source: InDigital.tv
By
  • Tim Blanks

PARIS, France — Lucas Ossendrijver has a true believer's faith in fashion. This season's absorption in the hypernormal worries him, because fashion was always his escape from that very thing. It's what got him out of the small town in Holland where he was born. "My role as a designer is to elevate everyday life," Ossendrijver said after his presentation on Sunday morning. He said he'd challenged himself to make the most prosaic pieces — check shirt, chino, parka — into something more than reality, working on cut, construction, proportion, though it sounded like his best friend was actually the humble clothespress, under which everything was placed to sharpen shapes. It definitely added something peculiar to a jacket shoulder.

But the first thing that struck you about the clothes Ossendrijver showed was actually the word NOTHING, woven into the muffler that draped a navy duffel coat. Not, as it turned out, a stylish flirtation with nihilism (though there are surely plenty of those to come as the pendulum swing of populism changes the political face of the planet) but a rejection, he insisted, of the creative inputs that often shape a collection: no art, no vintage, no collaborations, nothing but pure, unadulterated Ossendrijver. That’s a calculated risk. Talent stands naked. In which light, once you had subtracted the various indulgences of the show’s styling, there were some ideas to appreciate, particularly the designer’s more technical outerwear, but it was hard to see how the rest of the collection could deliver the energetic momentum that Ossendrijver was looking for. The rubric on the back of one sporty little blouson promised Fantastic Utopia. Writ small on its front were the words There is Nothing. Reconciling the irreconcilable is a tall order for any man.

An earlier version of this article misstated that Lucas Ossendrijver was born in Belgium. This is incorrect. Lucas Ossendrijver was born in Holland.

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